It may sound like a great national campaign to encourage blood donation by getting various organisations in Singapore to remove blood type letters A, B and O from their usual signage and branding materials.
In fact it is – unless you happen to be the Ministry of Education (MOE).
Well let’s just say MOE changed its Facebook profile picture temporarily on Tuesday (July 4) only to get people talking about a different matter entirely.
You see, MOE’s name does not carry the letter B, so when the Os and As were dropped, some people linked that to the GCE O- and A-Level examinations.
In a moment of sheer brilliance, they wrongly concluded that the Ministry was doing away with the national exams altogether.
What ensued under the comments section of the post over the subsequent few hours ranged from hilarity to serious concern. The post was shared over 250 times.
The social media campaign is initiated by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and the Singapore Red Cross (SRC).
As a global movement encouraging people worldwide to step forward as regular blood donors, the Missing Type Campaign was first organised by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in 2015.
First launched in Singapore last year, the campaign is back for its second run this year and has more than 50 participating organisations backing the movement, up from 33 last year.
The campaign started on Tuesday (July 4) and ends on Sunday.
Some notable ones we’re all familiar with include Carousell, BreadTalk and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. This didn’t happen to MOE last year because it’s their first year participating in the campaign.
And it’s just unfortunate when you don’t have a B in your name and the letters O and A mean a lot to your target audience.
In its defence, MOE did play it safe by making a Facebook post just three minutes before the one that went south.
In the earlier one – which carried a picture with the missing letters of its name – explaining that it supports the campaign and encourages people to spread the word about blood donation.
It looks like some Facebook users just completely missed it.
Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t always let users see posts in a chronological way on their newsfeeds. This may explain why the temporary profile picture was shared more than 250 times compared to the one before which only managed a paltry 30 odd shares.
Perhaps MOE should have added the hashtag #missingtypeSG in the profile picture or added it as a description in the caption, as one Facebook user pointed out?
Whatever the case, the stir probably helped to drive a greater awareness of the campaign, just not in the way it was originally intended to have been.
But one thing’s for sure: The O- and A-Levels are still a go.